OSU Extension Blogs

Exploring the Small Farm Dream - Tangent

Small Farms Events - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 2:44pm
Thursday, January 14, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Are you considering launching a small farm enterprise, but are not sure where to start?
Whether you are dreaming of raising sheep, growing berries, or selling heirloom vegetables, this class series will give you the tools to start making that dream come true.
In this three-session course you will learn about current trends in small-scale agriculture, explore goals for your farm business, assess personal and financial resources, conduct preliminary market research, and develop an action plan to guide your next steps.

What to expect:
• Creative exercises, research, and class discussions that will help you assess your skills and resources.
• Interview with local farm-business owner that will assist you in deciding how to carry your dream forward.
• An opportunity to make connections with others interested in starting new farm enterprises.

Who should attend?

If you are exploring the idea of starting a farm business, this course is designed for you. This includes people thinking about full-time farming, farming part-time while continuing other employment, changing careers to start a farm, and/or developing an existing but informal farming pastime into a more serious business activity.

Dates, times and locations:
This class series will be offered in two locations.
Thursdays, January 14, 21, and 28, 2016
6:00-8:30 pm Linn County Extension Service office in Tangent.

5:30–8:00 pm Douglas County Extension Service office in Roseburg.

Fee: $60 for one individual; $75 for two farm business partners.
Fee includes worksheets and handouts, 7.5 hours of detailed instruction and class exercises led by Extension Faculty and successful local farmers, and refreshments at each session.

To register:
To register for the Linn County visit here or contact Chrissy Lucas at 541-766-3556
To register for the Douglas County series please call the Douglas County Extension Service at: 541-672-4461

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs


Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Thu, 01/14/2016 - 12:42pm

Recently, I read that 45% of individuals make New Year’s Resolutions and only 8% actually achieve success. Hmmm…not a friendly probability. Perhaps intentions about behavior are indeed more realistic. (Haven’t seen the statistics on that potential change. Mazanian (et al, 1998) does say stated intention to change is the most significant behavioral indicator.) My intention for 2016 is to provide content related to or about evaluation that provides you with something you didn’t have before you read the post (Point one). Examples follow:

David Fetterman said in another blog , “context matters in how we interpret behavior.” Yesterday, in a faculty meeting, we were asked to identify the “isms” inherent in the various sayings. We were given a group of sayings. One saying  in that group was, “I’m just a person”. This saying is a good example of what Fetterman was saying. An individual is NOT “just” a “person”. An individual is defined by the context and the behavior conducted. I am an evaluator; I am a single mom by choice; I am a long time academic. How I behave depends on all of those and more. Saying I am “just” a “person” negates all that I am and do. Evaluation is the same way. Although the field has been advanced by the “western” world, many (most?) of those cultural characteristics of the field need to be translated to fit the context.


New topic: I have been blogging on evaluation now for over 6 years, since early December 2009. In that time I’ve tried to post weekly (barring holidays, conferences, you know, within reason). I’ve accumulated many posts that can be categorized into the four main parts of evaluation as I see it:

  1. Program Planning and Logic Modeling;
  2. Program Implementation, Monitoring, and Delivery;
  3. Data Management and Analysis (divided into Qualitative and Quantitative data); and
  4. Program Evaluation Utilization.

My intention in 2016 (Point two) is to organize the blog posts into those four topics and replicate a WECT program (say “west”) on-line, at least nominally. It won’t be an “on-line course” as most of you know it. It will be an access point for you who are interested in Evaluation. It will list the resources that I’ve listed in the posts; it will send you to other places for additional information. It will organize for you what I’ve written. Granted, not all the posts will be included; you can always access the blog through “Evaluation is an Everyday Activity“. Whether this will be in the blog or a separate on line posting hasn’t been decided;  I will let you know.

Let me know what you think about making a WECT-type  activity.

my .


The post Intentions appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Ag Entrepreneurship & Business Planning

Small Farms Events - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 2:34pm
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Ag Entrepreneurship & Business Planning 

This comprehensive 10-week course is focused on helping you to create a business plan for your current OR future small farm enterprise (or value-added product).  Class participants will hear from local farmers, agency professionals, and business experts on important aspects of farm business planning.  

This course does not cover production practices so it’s advised you have some experience in the area of your enterprise.  Follow the title link for more course info or see topics covered below.

Suitable participants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis so don’t delay!

Registration instructions: 
1. If you have any questions about the course or want to determine it’s suitability for you, contact eric.lambert@wsu.edu - 360-397-6060 x 5729
2. Complete this online pre-survey.
3. WSU Small Farms will contact you when they see your pre-survey has been completed to answer any questions, go over participant expectations and to make sure the class is a good fit.
4. WSU Small Farms will send you a registration link where payment can be made.
5. You will be contacted with additional course details after payment has been received.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Understanding vegetation in young plantations: It’s what they do

Tree Topics - Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:02pm

By Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Benton, Linn and Polk Counties


photo: VMRC

Last month I spent a morning at OSU attending the annual science meeting of the Vegetation Management Research Cooperative (VMRC). It was well worth the time.

The VMRC’s mission includes conducting applied reforestation research of young plantations from seedling establishment through crown closure and, to promote reforestation success. The VMRC’s research has an emphasis on practical, operational vegetation control, and their research is broadly relevant and readily applied to the needs of family forest landowners, so I do try to keep up on their work.

Since many of the member groups do use herbicides in their forest management, their research frequently does involve herbicides. But the work is not generally about herbicides per se, but rather about understanding the nature of weed competition and how different degrees of competition and disturbance affect seedling growth and vegetation community dynamics. They are interested in knowing the influence of the timing of competition control efforts on survival and growth, how the length and timing control each affects growth and survival (“critical period threshold”), or the interaction of different seedling stock types and vegetation control methods affects seedling growth and vegetation community dynamics. Good stuff to know.

The meeting was also a chance to meet the VMRC’s new Director and Associate Director, Dr Carlos Gonzalez-Benecke and Max Wightman. They kicked things off with an excellent summary of the past decade’s research conducted around western Oregon and southwest Washington. They also did some broader synthesis of results to help lead the coop forward in another decade of work.

The VMRC currently has 14 members including forestry companies, state and federal agencies. It is one of 11 research coops at OSU’s College of Forestry (http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/research/research-cooperatives). Each conducts research and applies the results to solve problems, develop new products, support long-term field studies, and develop decision support tools. A CoF faculty member leads each cooperative and members work together to develop a mutually agreeable research program, pool dues payments to support the cooperative’s operating budget, and provide significant in-kind support to leverage dues payments.

You may have seen my earlier posting on the Swiss Needle Cast Cooperative , and can expect to hear more about the work of the VMRC, SNCC and some of our other research coops in the future.

The post Understanding vegetation in young plantations: It’s what they do appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Science Camp 2013 and Erik Fooladi

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Fri, 07/19/2013 - 12:44pm

We participate in the Oregon State U Food Science Camp for middle school students.

Part of the STEM [science technology engineering math] Academies@OSU Camps.

We teach about bread fermentations, yeast converting sugars to CO2 and ethanol, lactobacillus converting sugar to lactic and acetic acids, how the gluten in wheat can form films to trap the gas and  allow the dough to rise. On the way we teach about flour composition, bread ingredients and their chemical functionalities, hydration, the relationships between enzymes and substrates [amylases on starch to produce maltose for the fermentation organisms]; gluten development, the gas laws and CO2′s declining solubility in the aqueous phase during baking which expands the gas bubbles and leads to the oven spring at the beginning of baking; and the effect of pH on Maillard browning using soft pretzels that they get to shape themselves..

All this is illustrated by hands on [in] activities: they experience the hydration and the increasing cohesiveness of the dough as they mix it with their own hands, they see their own hand mixed dough taken through to well-risen bread. They get to experience dough/gluten development in a different context with the pasta extruder, and more and more.

A great way to introduce kids to the relevance of science to their day to day lives: in our case chemistry physics biochemistry and biology in cereal food processing.

We were also fortunate to have Erik Fooladi from Volda University College in Norway to observe the fun: http://www.fooducation.org/

If you have not read his blog and you like what we do here: you should!


endless pasta


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Good Cheese, Bad Cheese

Bringing Food Chemistry to Life - Wed, 07/10/2013 - 12:25pm

pH, colloidal calcium phosphate, aging, proteolysis, emulsification or its loss and their interactions lead to optimum melting qualities for cheeses. A module in this year’s food systems chemistry class.

This module was informed by this beautiful article “The beauty of milk at high magnification“ by Miloslav Kalab, which is available on the Royal Microscopical Society website.


Of course accompanied by real sourdough wholegrain bread baked in out own research bakery.

Inspired by…

“The Science of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”

by: Jennifer Kimmel

in: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking

Edited by Cesar Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden


Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

February 2011- Nutrition Education Volunteers taking “vacation”

Family Food Educators of Central Oregon - Tue, 02/01/2011 - 8:24am

I’m back from maternity leave and getting resettled into some new responsibilities.  We had a staff member leave us, so Glenda and I are having to pick up the work load until we find someone new, or our responsibilites change.  Being a new mom is lots of work too, so I’ve gone part time (24 hours aweek) but am still trying to get everything done… that being said, we’ve decided to put our nutrition education volunteering on hold, until I have a managable workload.

We look forward to being able to start things back up in the summer or fall of 2011.  Thanks so much and since a few of you have been asking, here’s a photo of our boy.  He is 5 months old today!

Bundled out in the cold!

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs